Do Homeschoolers Need Sports and P.E.?
October 4, 2017
Hey Mama,
There's something wonderful about the whole family playing together outside. I mean littles, teens, the dog—you name it! Literally, everyone outside together. Whether they're playing tag football or kickball, you can't help but smile a big toothy grin as you watch them collide and tackle each other with shouts of “Mama, did you see that?” or “Come play, Mama!” (and of course you do—even though your back will ache tomorrow.) Why? Because it's so worth it TODAY! This day is all you have. Today is one day to get them all working together, appreciating each other, laughing together. Sports, organized or not, are a great way to do that!
Not sure your family is that into sports? Find encouragement in these articles from  The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine :

There's this too, Mama . . . 
What do you do with the little ones, seemingly everywhere underfoot? Pray a lot, and keep a good sense of humor, right (grin)? When you're teaching big kids but have little ones, too, you can suddenly find yourself juggling/spinning a lot of plates. But the Lord is faithful and He will help you  get done  what needs to be done. All your kids will benefit from learning how to work together as a family. 
Read this and take it to heart: One day your little monkey-cracker-jack-monster-boy will be in his forties; a strong man with responsibilities of his own. And that (sometimes) eye-rolling girl of yours will stand gracious and tall, with eyes full of wisdom, loving and caring for her old Mama. You are going to look back on THESE DAYS - the ones happening right now - with warmth, longing, and the desire to have them all back in your arms. Oh! To hold them again on your lap and snuggle them, long scrawny arms, messy faces and all... So take a deep breath, smile, and keep walking, because in the big picture, this is leading somewhere, Mama. It's taking you all somewhere very special.
Cherish today, and cling hard to those babies while you still can. In the meantime, His hand is on your head.

- Love, gena
P.E. When we were kids, few things struck fear in the hearts of bookish kids like us as much as those two letters—P.E. We were just laughing this week at how hard it all seemed. “Keep your eyes on the ball,” Melanie remembers the Phys. Ed. teacher yelling at her as she’d stare helplessly back at him. 

We suspect a lot of homeschoolers had the same kind of experience. Showers, changing clothes, embarrassment, even humiliation is what many of us connect with P.E. “Why on earth would anyone need P.E.?” they think.

On the other hand, some of our friends so enjoyed their years playing sports that they decide to put their kids in public school rather than take the chance they’ll miss out.

What’s the real deal? Are sports and P.E. a useless relic of the old system or a critical part of childhood that warrants giving up homeschooling?  

Neither, we think. There are some big advantages to getting our kids moving and active, but we don’t need to sacrifice homeschooling to do it.

Exercise not only makes our kids healthier, it makes homeschooling easier. Research shows that boys who use their big muscle groups during the day learn better. Antsy boys sit still more easily, too, when they have time to get the wiggles out during the day. Exercise seems to help our hormonal preteens and teens even out their emotions, too. All of that makes it easier to teach them.

So, how do you do P.E. at home? It can be as simple as encouraging your kids to run, throw balls, and ride their bikes; but for many of us, we need a little bit more than that. There are several homeschool fitness or P.E. programs that can help you know what to do and keep you on track doing it. We reviewed one recently here .

Sports have value, too. It’s been good for our kids to learn teamwork, healthy competition, and diligence in training as they’ve played for our local homeschool football league. It’s important to provide an outlet for kids that are physically gifted, too.

How do you provide sports opportunities for your kids? The best option we’ve found is sports programs run by and for homeschoolers. They are more family-friendly and kid-friendly, too, than other options we’ve tried. Community leagues and travel leagues are another option. Don’t forget the individual and pair sports like racquetball, running, biking, and tennis. Those are easier to fit into family life.

Even as P.E.-allergic people, we found our kids needed encouragement to be active and gained a lot from our sports activities. It’s really been good for us all.

Your friends,
Hal & Melanie
Every student, whether homeschooled or otherwise, needs physical education. It is important for a student to learn how to live an active, healthy life. Regular exercise has all sorts of health benefits, from lowering a person’s chance for heart disease to fighting against Alzheimer’s. As a result, it is important that all students find a means by which they can exercise on a regular basis.

Like most homeschool situations, however, this needn’t (and probably shouldn’t) be an actual class. Instead, it should consist of actual physical activity. The thing to keep in mind is that any activity that involves repeated work and regular evaluation can be an academic activity. So, if your student likes to take walks, have him or her take a walk several times each week. You can evaluate the walks based on distance, time, heartrate, or any other criteria that will indicate whether or not the student is improving. Keep track of the student’s time spent in the activity, and once he or she reaches 160 hours, that’s a full year’s credit in physical education.

Alternatively, if your student takes tennis lessons, swimming lessons, etc., have the student’s instructor do regular evaluations of his or her progress. Once again, count up the hours spent in lessons and practice, and when it reaches 160 hours, you have a full year’s credit of physical education. It doesn’t matter if it takes more than one year to reach 160 hours. Just give a year’s worth of credit for every 160 hours, regardless of how long it takes.

While physical education is important because of its obvious health benefits, whether or not a student plays sports depends on the desires of the student. If your student is university-bound, he or she should have extracurricular activities, but they needn’t be sports-related. While sports can be beneficial, they are certainly not necessary.

Please note that a physical education class is not the same as a health class. In health class, a student might learn the benefits of physical exercise, but the class does not involve doing physical exercise. Instead, it discusses all aspects of a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise, hygiene, and sexuality.

Dr. Jay L. Wile holds an earned Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry. He is an author, international speaker, and adjunct professor at Anderson University. His award-winning elementary curriculum teaches science using history as a guide, and he recently published a new high-school chemistry course, Discovering Design with Chemistry. You can see all of his books at Berean Builders Publishing, . Members - Did You Know?
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is your trade publication. Every quarter it is released, but every OTHER quarter it comes out in print as well as digital (apps). How do you claim your free print magazine? Hit up your dashboard and claim it. Next issue is the Winter one... we're laying it in now and it is BEAUTIFUL. Over 160 pages, glossy, thick. And you don't need to pay a dime to get it. Get over to your dashboard and get your free stuff. Check your dashboard often at the top of the home page. We love to give gifts! - gena 
Beth Mora

What if I could sell you something that would guarantee to revolutionize your homeschool student’s ability to learn within a month? Interested? 

What if my offer included improving short -and long-term memory ?

Think about it. Your student will get better at remembering what you teach today and even tomorrow!

How about if I throw in improved mood and emotional stability ?
Yup, happier kids…..aaaaand…..a decrease in those 2:00pm emotional meltdowns!

What if I said that my product would improve energy and focus .

I’m talking about increasing your wiggle worm’s attention span to longer than a nanosecond. How would you like that?

What if I end my sales pitch with improved health and better sleep habits that translate into less sick days and quieter nights for parents.

Let’s face it; what home educator wouldn’t want what I’m selling!

My wonder product is none other than P.E., Physical Education.The listed benefits of regular exercise are stellar! No homeschool day should be without P.E. strategically placed somewhere between math and spelling.

Our bodies are beautifully designed by God to moooooooove, and we suffer when we don’t get our hearts pumping life-giving oxygen to our gray matter. Brain power takes a dive when our bottoms are warming a chair all day long. Learning is significantly affected by a lack of regular exercise. We often blame learning roadblocks on curriculum choice, educational method, or learning style. Before you question the delivery method, consider your homeschool routine. More often than not, physical activity is lacking. Over the years, I’ve learned with my own kiddos that making time for regular exercise can fix a lot of learning problems, attitudes, and behavioral issues.

What’s the best form of P.E.? The answer is simple. The one you enjoy. Over the years, P.E. has taken many forms in our family. We have enjoyed running, rock climbing, completing the Presidential Fitness Goals , dancing, basketball, hiking, skating, kayaking, swimming, organized sports, unorganized sports, and of course generous amounts of time for outdoor play, even when it’s raining. It’s not important what activity your child engages in, the only significant thing that matters is that large muscles move blood to a pumping heart, blood cells pick up fresh oxygen in the lungs, and then travel to your child’s brain so it can make learning connections! And the best part is it doesn't have to increase your budget. Moving your body is free!

Improved short- and long-term memory, mood, emotional stability, energy, focus, health, and sleep habits all for a low price. Including physical education in your educational plan makes perfect sense. 


You can find Beth Mora jogging while singing off-key near her home in Washington. She is the creator and teacher-on-camera for Here to Help Learning ’s homeschool writing program for grades 1-6, where she lives out her dream of becoming Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. Beth’s mission is to inspire moms to stay encouraged to do the hard work of parenting and homeschooling. She pulls from her past experiences as a Certified Rehabilitation RN, homeschool mom of 20 years, homeschool co-op leader, Marriage Ministry Director, Women’s Ministry Programmer, Children’s Ministry Leader, and Drama Team Member. She is a welcomed speaker at homeschool conferences and women’s events. She loves blogging at Home to Home , and Peak Performance , HTHL’s blogs for moms and homeschool businesses. She also writes for HTHL’s Newsletter that includes her Writing Tip of the Week . Occasionally, you can find her blog hopping or writing articles for publication. Everything she does, whether laughable or heart gripping, is done to honor One, without apology. God’s grace is the salve that has healed her own life, and God’s grace is what she offers liberally to others.

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Physical exercise and activity are not only good for the body, they are good for the mind and soul, too. That’s one of the reasons why courses are such great resources. Total flexibility with no preset schedule means you can get up and get outside whenever the weather permits—even take your school outside. You’re also free to schedule activities and play dates whenever you like because you’re not forced to show up for a certain class at a certain time. We’ll be here when you are ready, but we won’t lock you into a schedule or a routine that keeps you from living and loving the homeschool life you’ve chosen. 

If you’re not already a member of , we would love to have you join us. If you join during our Harvest special now through October 31, 2017, you will not only lock in your membership at a reduced monthly rate, but also receive a digital bushel of goodies valued at almost $700! If you or someone you know is interested in designing lessons for our site, please contact Director Bonnie Rose Hudson at

in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
Contest Corner  
For the month of October

I am always on the hunt for good, clean, wholesome books for my kids to read. When I found the Sonrise Stable Book Series eight-book set, I was ecstatic. The entire series consists of eight titles all written by Vicki Watson. Each book costs $8.95, or the entire series can be purchased for $58.95, which is a very nice discount as an entire package. The Sonrise Stable Series includes: Rosie and Scamper, Carrie and Bandit, Clothed with Thunder, Tender Mercies, Outward Appearances, Follow the Leader, Rejoice with Me , and the Christmas book, Operation Christmas Spirit .

These books are geared toward children ages eight through thirteen. I feel like this is an accurate age range, although truthfully, older children would likely enjoy them as well. Younger children may enjoy hearing these books read aloud. I enjoyed reading them as an adult, so really the age stipulation is just a suggestion. The entire series was written because of Vicki’s love for horses at a young age. She wrote the books to share many of her life’s lessons with young readers.

The entire series is about an extended homeschooling family. Each chapter book has an overall theme based on a scriptural principle. Throughout the series the family lives, learns, and loves together. The main characters are Rosie and Carrie. Together with their families by their sides, these girls have many heartwarming adventures. There is just enough excitement from chapter to chapter to keep the reader guessing and wanting to continue reading. Each book contains some special lesson pages in the back related to the theme of the book.

While we didn’t read the series in order, the books still made complete and perfect sense to us. There were a few times that a previous event was referenced, but enough information was given that we were able to still understand the plot of each novel. What I really appreciate is the attention given to detail in the stories as well as the additional activities in the back of each book. The discussion questions alone are valuable if you wish to use this series as a reading comprehension tool for your horse-loving children. 

Since Christmas is coming up, here is a bit about Book 8: Operation Christmas Spirit .

The children all decide to work together to produce a Christmas play depicting the birth of Christ. They learn and study joyfully together, each digging into the scripture. The theme of this volume in the series is obviously about Christmas. Other events challenge the family as well: Grandma along with Rosie and Carrie hope to purchase a pony and a cart. They choose a run-down, well-worn cart that seems somewhat useless. When it is restored, they all realize the beauty that it contains. The back of this volume contains discussion questions for each chapter.

We really enjoyed reading this wholesome series. The books are easy to read and understand, making them perfect for any horse-loving child. If I had known about these books several years ago, I would have purchased them for my daughter. I highly recommend this series if you have an eight- to thirteen-year-old who just can’t get their hands on enough horse books.

YOU can WIN this full set of books for your homeschool! 

TO ENTER : Click on over to our entry page and follow the instructions! Contest ends at midnight, the last day of the month.
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